Organizers in Los Alamos, N.M., and Hanford, Wash., are having special events today to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret national effort to create the worldâ€™s first atomic bombs during World War II.
Although nothing is planned in Oak Ridge, local volunteers are considering whether to have a celebration on Sept. 19, the 70th anniversary of the decision to select Oak Ridge for the first Manhattan Project site, newspaper columnist and Y-12 National Security Complex Historian D. Ray Smith said in an e-mail.
The volunteers plan to begin discussing the possible celebration during a 4 p.m. Tuesday meeting in the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau conference room.
Todayâ€™s events in Los Alamos and Hanford are also designed to increase public awareness of the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and volunteers in Oak Ridge want to show Congress that Oak Ridge also supports that park. Smith said a small working group will be formed to lead the planning.
In July, a U.S. House committee approved a bill to set up a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that would include Oak Ridge. In the works for years, the park would also include facilities in Hanford and Los Alamos.
The bill specifies the facilities and areas at the three locations that are eligible for inclusion in the park. Most of these facilities and areas are already owned by the federal government and under the purview of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Under the bill, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park must be established as a unit of the National Park System within one year.